Harsh welcome for our summer birds

Skógarþröstur – Redwing – Turdus iliacus

Redwings have a special place in the hearts of Icelanders. They  signal the usually long awaited coming of spring. Huge flocks of them arrived here April 5 and 6 from their winter grounds in Britain and Western Europe. They were, however, not welcomed with spring weather, but with a full-blown blizzard, one of the worst this winter.

Outside our window on April 5

The weather was as bad as it can get, with snow blowing into huge banks, the shivering birds covered in snow and the house trembling from the storm. It is likely that some if them have not survived this harsh welcome.

This sunny morning, in the snow and frost, there are around 30 singing Redwings in the garden, quarrelling over the feed trays – the garden resounding with their song.